Outside the Box: McKennie on the move & Coach Soulja Boy

Another Champions League is in the books and every fan of an MLS team has at one point or another said with a tear in their eye, ‘our little Phonzie is a European Champion. He’s all grown up, I’m so proud.’

FC Dallas fans can even more confidently point to both Bayern Munich (well, the U23s) and Sevilla spending time in Frisco to prepare for their European-winning seasons.

More to the point, roughly 400,000,000 people watch the Champions League, but 11,000 managed to watch the wrong game after tuning into a YouTube stream of Bayern’s 3-1 win over the Parisians from December 2017.

The people of Marseilles were definitely among the viewers of the actual game however, and took to the streets to celebrate their great rivals’ failure to win the big prize. OM fans were more than happy to point out that their 1993 Champions League win is still the only one by a French club.

From Little Elm With Love

There is an earth-shattering transfer taking place. Some Argentine fella wants out at Barcelona, but more importantly FC Dallas product Weston McKennie is in Turin to seal his loan-to-buy to Juventus.

We’re also waiting for his USSDA National Champion team-mate Reggie Cannon’s impending move to Europe any day now.

He’s come so far…

Prospects Galore

Speaking of young players moving on. 14 years ago a mascot for Chelsea gave Steven Gerrard a schoolboy error that was caught on TV in an iconic moment in the Premier League era of English football.

Fast forward to 20-year-old Jake Nickless signing on with sixth tier Billericay Town after scoring twice in a pre-season friendly.

When Playing It Out of the Back Goes Wrong

I came across the delightful Twitter account of that name the other day. Adam Le Fondre, who had one season in the Premier League way back when found his way south to Straya’s A-League. In Wednesday’s game between Sydney and Perth Glory, the former Reading striker was given an absolute gift of a goal in the league semi-final.

Incidentally, North Texas SC was the first team to feature twice on the account after giving up two similar goals in the space of a week against the Revs and Inter Miami’s reserve teams.

Definitely an account to follow if you want to see crap build-out play punished, and in the city of Luchi-ball, we want to see that from other teams!

Ronaldinho Released

One of the all-time greats of the game, Ronaldinho, has hit some troubling times. Right as Covid became a thing, the Brazilian and his brother/agent were arrested in Paraguay accused of using a fake passport.

Both were eventually placed under house arrest before being released this week. Well they called it house arrest but really it was the $300/night presidential suite at Asuncion’s Palmaroga hotel.

The Presidential Suite (Hotel Palmaroga)

The brothers were the only guests of the hotel, which an Argentine outlet labeled “the epicenter of parties and excesses” where models came and went daily.

It wasn’t all that easy as Ronaldinho had to spend two months in a maximum security prison, but hopefully this is the end of a difficult chapter after the brothers secured a deal for their release and return to Brazil.

Skipping a Beat

There was a scary moment in Ajax’s recent friendly with Hertha Berlin as Daley Blind collapsed with no-one around. The former Manchester United player had an implantable cardioverter defibrillator fitted last year after a heart defect was discovered.

His close cousin of the pacemaker went off during the game as it detected an irregular heartbeat. Blind collapsed but was able to walk off the field.

It’s a terrifying moment but it’s good to see the advances made in these situations since the tragic passing of Marc Vivien-Foe during a Confederations Cup game in 2003.

Soulja Manager

Football Manager has attracted an array of star players over the years, with Antoine Griezmann documenting his save of the management sim during the 2018 World Cup.

FM streamer Doctor Benjy managed to convince rapper-turned-streamer Soulja Boy to try his hand at coaching.

I’m confused, you’re confused, even Sports Interactive who make the game are confused. You can watch the full awkward video as Soulja Boy manages Atlanta United below:

What’s On

The European season starts back up over the next couple of weeks. We’ve got both versions of the English Community Shield in a Saturday back-to-back. Man City will feature USWNT stars Rose Lavelle and Sam Mewis. The Women’s Champions League final sees Lyon looking for a 6th consecutive title on Sunday, and a lot of MLS action including FCD and North Texas SC both playing.

Saturday, August 29:
6:30am – Chelsea v Manchester City (Women’s Community Shield) – ESPN+
10:30am – Arsenal v Liverpool (Community Shield) – ESPN+
2:30pm – Atlanta United v Orlando City (MLS) – ESPN+
7:30pm – FC Dallas v Minnesota United (MLS) – TXA21 / ESPN+ / FCDallas.com/stream
9:30pm – LA Galaxy v San Jose Earthquakes (MLS) – ESPN+

Sunday, August 30:
3:30am – Sydney FC v Melbourne City (A-League Grand Final) – ESPN+
8:00am – Metz v Monaco (Ligue 1) – beIN SPORTS
1:00pm – Wolfsburg v Lyon (Women’s Champions League Final) – CBS All Access
5:00pm – OKC Energy v Austin Bold (USL-C) – ESPN+
9:00pm – Seattle Sounders v LAFC (MLS) – FS1

Wednesday, September 2:
6:30pm – NYRB v DC United (MLS) – ESPN+
7:30pm – Sporting KC v FC Dallas (MLS) – TXA21 / ESPN+ / FCDallas.com/stream
9:30pm – Portland Timbers v LA Galaxy (MLS) – ESPN+

Thursday, September 3:
1:45pm – Germany v Spain (UEFA Nations League) – ESPN2 / TUDN
6:00pm – Orlando City B v North Texas SC – ESPN+

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